Zachary Epperson


Phone: 859-219-9090
Fax: 859-219-9292
Email: Email Me

Mr. Epperson joined Richardson Law Group, PLLC as a civil litigation attorney in 2021. Prior to joining the firm, he served as Staff Attorney to Court of Appeals Judge Glenn E. Acree of Kentucky’s 5th Appellate District.

Professional Experience
Associate, Richardson Law Group, PLLC, Lexington, KY ─ April 2021 to present
Staff Attorney, Judge Glenn E. Acree, Kentucky Court of Appeals, 5th Appellate District, Lexington, KY ─ August 2019 to April 2021
Motions Specialist, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Cincinnati, OH ─ May 2018 to May 2019

Northern Kentucky University ─ Salmon P. Chase College of Law, J.D ─ 2019
Morehead State University, MBA ─ 2016
Morehead State University, BA ─ 2015

Bar Admissions
Commonwealth of Kentucky ─ 2020
Ohio ─ 2019

Accomplishment, Honors, and Affiliations
Salmon P Chase College of Law Trial Advocacy Team
2018 Kentucky Intra-State Mock Trial Competition Champion
2019 American Association for Justice National Trial Advocacy Regional Semi-Finalist
Kentucky Bar Association
Ohio Bar Association

Representative Matters

February, 2024, Kentucky Court of Appeals: Arnold, et al. v. Mediport, LLC, et al., Case No. 2022-CA-0078-MR. Mr. Arnold experienced cardiac arrest at an extreme foot race event held at the Kentucky Horse Park. His wife filed a wrongful death action against Mediport, LLC, the entity retained by event organizers to provide first aid and EMT services to participants. Mrs. Arnold further sought a declaration that the auto liability policy issued by Westfield Insurance Company to Mediport provided coverage for the wrongful death claim. She argued that the Mediport vans were not equipped with necessary medical equipment and that the medical technician was unable to open the rear door of the van to access a backboard, resulting in a delay in Mr. Arnold’s treatment. She claimed these issues concerned “use, operation, or maintenance” of the vehicle, which brought it within the policy’s insuring provision.  On Behalf of Westfield, Elizabeth Bass and Zach Epperson argued that the Westfield policy did not provide coverage because the claims did not arise out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a covered automobile. The Scott Circuit Court agreed and entered summary judgment in favor of Westfield. The ruling survived a motion to alter, amend or vacate, and was affirmed by the Kentucky Court of Appeals. 

February 2024, Harlan County, KY: Dixon v. Benham Schoolhouse Inn, a/s/o Appalachian Hospitality Group, LLC, et al., and Appalachian Hospitality Group, LLC, v. Scottsdale Insurance Company, No. 23-CI-00079. Zach Epperson and Cael Henshaw obtained summary judgment for their client, Scottsdale Insurance Company. Mr. Dixon was a plumbing subcontractor retained to perform work at Benham Schoolhouse Inn. In the course of his work, Mr. Dixon claimed that he fell through a set of stairs and sustained injuries. Benham filed a Third-Party Complaint against its insurer, Scottsdale, seeking insurance coverage under a Commercial General Liability policy for the claims asserted against it by Mr. Dixon. Mr. Epperson and Mr. Henshaw moved for summary judgment on behalf of Scottsdale, arguing that it owed no duty of defense or indemnity to Benham pursuant to a policy endorsement which excluded coverage for claims of bodily injury sustained by subcontractors or anyone hired or retained by or for an insured. Benham argued that the endorsement was ambiguous and against public policy. The Court ruled that the endorsement was applicable and granted summary judgment in favor of Scottsdale.

December 2023, Union County, KYBaird v. Greenwell Brothers Farm, LLC, et al.   Melissa Richardson and Zach Epperson successfully obtained a unanimous defense verdict on liability for their clients, Greenwell Brothers Farm, LLC, Thomas Randall Greenwell, and James Neal Greenwell, in a unique case involving a negligence action filed by a farm employee after he contracted a rare fungal infection. Plaintiff is a life-long farmer who was hired by Greenwell Brothers Farm as a farmhand in 2018.

In or around August 17, 2020, Greenwell Brothers underwent the task of replacing the floor of a grain bin located on the property. The Greenwells, several of the Greenwell children, and Plaintiff, among others, first removed the perforated floor of the grain bin. Thereafter, they worked to remove the grain remnants that had accumulated under the floor. The Greenwells would shovel the grain remnants into buckets, hand the bucket through an opening in the grain bin to Plaintiff who was standing outside, and Plaintiff would then empty the bucket into a wagon.  

No one wore respiratory protection while working on the grain bin. Greenwell Brothers did not require employees to use respiratory protection for this particular type of work. However, various respirators, including N-95 masks, were readily available for employees to use at their discretion. Respirators were kept in the grainery control room, the office shop, and in most service trucks, all of which were located beside of the grain bin. Greenwell Brothers contended that all employees knew where the respirators were kept and had access to them.

While Plaintiff initially denied that respiratory protection was available, he later acknowledged that he had used respirators provided by Greenwell Brothers in the past and that he could have found one had he looked. He indicated he used his extensive experience as a farmer to determine whether or not to wear a respirator. In this instance, and based on his experience, he did not believe a respirator was necessary for the grain bin project. As such, he did not use a respirator and testified that he would not have worn one if it were handed to him due to the August heat.

Less than two weeks after completing the work on the grain bin, Plaintiff was hospitalized and diagnosed with disseminated blastomycosis, a rare fungal infection caused by the organism blastomyces. Blastomyces is primarily found in soil and is endemic to the Ohio River Valley, Mississippi River Valley, and the Southeastern United States. Plaintiff alleged he inhaled blastomyces spores during the grain bin project. Plaintiff filed suit alleging that the Greenwell Brothers were negligent for failing to provide proper respiratory protection and a grain vacuum. Plaintiff elicited testimony from an industrial hygienist who claimed that Greenwell Brothers should have, at a minimum, required its employees to wear half-face respirators with P-100 filters. She acknowledged that N-95 respirators were designed to protect against airborne particulates, such as grain dust; however, she would not recommend them due to the potential for leakage.

Among other things, Greenwell Brothers asserted that Plaintiff could not link his infection to the grain bin project. Plaintiff’s expert, Plaintiff’s treating infectious disease doctor, and Greenwell Brother’s expert all agreed that blastomyces spores are endemic to the area and that Plaintiff could have been exposed to blastomyces spores virtually anywhere in the general environment. This was determined to be particularly true in areas where the soil is being plowed. Plaintiff, who worked on a farm and lived on his own farm that was actively being farmed, was routinely exposed to this type of environment. Moreover, Greenwell Brothers’ expert, Dr. Keith Armitage, opined that the normal incubation period for blastomycosis is greater than 30 days. Because Plaintiff began experience symptoms less than two weeks after the grain bin project, it was unlikely that the grain bin project work was the source of the infection. Her further noted that no other employee who worked in or around the grain bin became ill. Moreover, Greenwell Brothers relied on Plaintiff’s medical records which noted that he had been losing weight, had sores on his body that would not heal, and had been feeling fatigued for a couple of months prior to the grain bin work, as all of those complaints are symptoms associated with blastomycosis. According to Dr. Armitage, this suggested that Plaintiff likely contracted his infection at least months before the grain bin project was started.   

Greenwell Brothers further contended that they complied with any duty they may have owed Plaintiff by providing N-95 respirators for employees to use on a voluntary basis. Greenwell Brothers’ agriculture operations expert, Bob McIndoo, opined that it is industry standard for farming operations to have N-95 respirators available for voluntary use when cleaning the interior of a grain bin. Additionally, Greenwell Brothers’ industrial hygienist, James McIntosh, opined that the N-95 respirators made available by Greenwell Brothers would have offered adequate protection against airborne particulates had Plaintiff chosen to wear one.

Following his infection, Plaintiff asserted that he was experiencing ongoing respiratory issues, severe depression due to his alleged inability to work, chronic headaches and migraines, ambulation issues, nausea, fatigue, and a general inability to engage in any activity without becoming sick. Plaintiff claimed that these alleged symptoms prevented him from returning to work. However, Plaintiff’s treating infectious disease doctor opined that Plaintiff had made a full recovery from his infection and there was no indication that Plaintiff should be experiencing lingering symptoms. In fact, Plaintiff’s own expert acknowledged that from a pulmonary and physical standpoint, Plaintiff was able to return to work. Further, Plaintiff had an extensive history of pre-existing health issues that were playing a role in his alleged ongoing complaints, including an extensive history of anxiety, depression, diabetes, COPD. In fact, Plaintiff had reported to his primary care physician just months before trial that his depression was in full remission and that he had been performing work outside on his house.

After a four day trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict within 30 minutes of deliberation.  See KTCR Report.

Spare Time
In his spare time, Zach enjoys sending time with family and friends, fishing, hiking, and spending time with his dog, Ollie. 


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